Wrap-up from our screening of The Greatest Silence

Hi everyone,

60 Minutes on Congo

60 Minutes piece on Dr. Denis Mukewege and the Panzi Hospital. Watch it.

We had a really good turnout at the screening of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo this past Sunday.  All of us were pleasantly surprised by the money raised — $358!  These donations will be split evenly between The Panzi Foundation and OC for Darfur.  We are extremely grateful for the generosity of everyone who was able to attend.

If you’d still like to donate, you can do so on our website.

A number of you asked for more information about ways to help the victims in Congo.  You can find more information about the work of Dr. Denis Mukewege and Panzi Hospital on their website.  Since the minerals in our cell phones, laptops etc. fund the militias who perpetrate the violence, we encourage you to visit the Raise Hope For Congo website and sign the petition to bring accountability into the process.

Beyond the donations and actions we encourage you to take, we are grateful for your participation.  Bearing witness to such horrors is very difficult and puts immense strains on one’s own heart and soul.  Given the scale of these problems, it can feel like doom and despair are the only option.  These difficulties are very real.  Yet it is essential that we have a community of people who can hold their ground in the face of such insurmountable challenges.  We all need to take better care of ourselves, know our limits, know when to back off to recharge versus when to stand up, and support each other in the process.  That is the goal in Living Ubuntu.

Thank you for your continued engagement and support.

With gratitude,

Barbara, Anshul and all of us at
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org | blog | facebook

PS: Our next meeting is this Tuesday, Sep 28th at 6:30p. Hope you can join us!

Screening of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo is this Sunday, Sep 19th

[When] events are natural disasters or “acts of God,” those who bear witness sympathize readily with the victim. But when the traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to remain neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides.

It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.

- Judith Herman

Hi everyone,

Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital

Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital. Click to find out more about the screening this Sunday, Sep 19th.

Last February, Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times travelled to Congo and interviewed Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Panzi Hospital (watch the video). Congo’s gang rape epidemic has done unspeakable damage to women’s bodies in the region. Dr. Mukwege has been one of the few tireless miracle-workers performing endless surgeries to repair what violence has ripped apart. Last year, after traveling to Congo and speaking with the women at Panzi Hospital, Lee Ann De Reus, a woman I had the pleasure of meeting through GI-Net’s Carl Wilkens Fellowship, launched the Panzi Foundation in order to raise funds to directly support the life-saving work being done through Dr. Mukwege and others at Panzi.

This Sunday we invite you to join us as we screen the film, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo. It is incredibly well-done and thereby equally important and disturbing to watch.

A free-will offering will be collected at the screening and split equally between The Panzi Foundation and Orange County for Darfur. Thank you in advance for any size contribution you are able to make.

All details are below. If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP on the website. Thank you.

Warmly,

Barbara English
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org | blog | facebook

OC for Darfur meeting is next Tuesday, Sep 14 at 6:30p

Hi everyone,

Screening of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo on Sep 19th

Screening of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo on Sep 19th in Costa Mesa, CA

The numbers keep rising. Last week, we were horrified by the numerous articles that reported over 240 women and girls being raped in Eastern Congo in July and August. Earlier this week the United Nations confirmed that the toll has risen to over 500.

The additional sexual attacks, in an area called Uvira and other regions of North and South Kivu, came to light during Khare’s trip. He told council members he learned of 74 cases of sexual violence, including against 21 minors — all girls between the ages of 7 and 15 — and six men, in a village called Miki, in South Kivu. All the women in another village, Kiluma, may have been systematically raped, he said.
Associated Press, Sep 8 2010

Why do we tolerate such impunity and brutal violation of women? Why is the UN, spending over a $1 billion dollars a year and having over 18,000 troops unable to protect the Congolese?

The next OC For Darfur meeting this Tuesday, September 14th at 6:30p. We will meet at Patty’s office in Newport Beach. Here is the address:

Patty’s office @ 6:30p
2424 SE Bristol Street, Suite 300
Newport Beach, CA 92660

We will discuss:

  • Update on what’s going on in Sudan, Congo and Burma.
  • Planning for the screening of The Greatest Silence on Sunday, Sep 19th. All details are below.
  • Potential event on the Sudanese referendum in January.
  • Art exhibit about genocide in April.
  • The United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

If you’d like to know more about us and our various activities, please join us at the meeting. We would love to have you participate.

Barbara & Anshul
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org | blog | facebook

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (Sunday, Sep 19th)

Hi everyone,

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the CongoYou would think when a UN Envoy referred to Congo as the “rape capital of the world” earlier this year, the result would be a decrease in violence due to all of that increased well-focused attention. Yet, what we see in reality are headlines such as this: Congo mass rape numbers rise to 240.

“Some 240 women, girls and babies may have been raped after rebels recently seized a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN says…

They say local people may have been afraid of rebel reprisals or ashamed by the rapes… Some of the women report being abused by several men in front of their husbands and children.
- BBC, September 2 2010

Somehow this complicated conflict with an estimated 5.4 million deaths resulting, has failed time and time again to get the attention it is desperately in need of. With this in mind, we would like to invite you to our upcoming screening of The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo. We are grateful to have partnered with Mesa Verde UMC, Amnesty International–Irvine and several other local organizations for this event. All details are below.

Warmly,

Barbara & Anshul
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | blog | facebook

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

“Why is this happening? Why use sex in order to humiliate and defeat someone? To threaten someone so they flee their village? Why use sex? This is the monstrosity of the century.”
– Dr. Denis Mukwege, Panzi Hospital

Sunday, September 19
6:30p refreshments
7:00p screening & discussion

Mesa Verde United Methodist Church

1701 W. Baker St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Cost:
Free

Since 1998 a brutal war has been raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Over 5 million people have died. Tens of thousands of women and girls who have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers from both foreign militias and the Congolese army. Why doesn’t the world know about these women? Why do they suffer in silence?

Visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.
Please help us in planning effectively for the event and RSVP on the website.

sponsors and partners:
Mesa Verde United Methodist Church
Amnesty International, Irvine
University Synagogue
St. Mark Presbyterian
Sisters of St. Joseph
Irvine United Congregational Church Advocates for Peace and Justice

* * *

OC For Darfur meeting is on Tuesday, August 31 at 6:30p

Hi everyone,

Omar Bashir snubs ICC arrest warrant, visits Kenya

Omar Bashir snubs ICC arrest warrant, visits Kenya

Just yesterday, Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir visited Kenya to celebrate the country’s new constitution. This was yet another chance to arrest and bring him to justice. Did the United States, Brazil and other major European governments know about this? How will they respond to this clear snub of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council?

The next OC For Darfur meeting this Tuesday, August 31st at 6:30p. We will meet at Patty’s office in Newport Beach. Here is the address:

Patty’s office @ 6:30p
2424 SE Bristol Street, Suite 300
Newport Beach, CA 92660


We will discuss:

  • Update on what’s going on in Sudan, Congo and Burma.
  • Planning for the screening of The Greatest Silence in September.
  • Potential event featuring the Sudanese from San Diego in November.
  • The United States and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

If you’d like to know more about us and our various activities, please join us at the meeting. We would love to have you participate.

Barbara & Anshul
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | blog | facebook

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo


“Why is this happening? Why use sex in order to humiliate and defeat someone? To threaten someone so they flee their village? Why use sex? This is the monstrosity of the century.”
– Dr. Denis Mukwege, Panzi Hospital

Sunday, September 19 2010
6:30p refreshments
7:00p screening & discussion

Mesa Verde United Methodist Church

1701 W. Baker St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Cost:
Free

Since 1998 a brutal war has been raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Over 5 million people have died. Tens of thousands of women and girls who have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers from both foreign militias and the Congolese army. Why doesn’t the world know about these women? Why do they suffer in silence?

Visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.
Please help us in planning for the event and RSVP on the website.

* * *

OC For Darfur planning meeting is this Tuesday, Feb 16th

Hi everyone,

We have a continual struggle to live with. On the one hand, horrors beyond words are taking place in Sudan, Congo, Burma, and other places also. On the other hand, we need to maintain focus on our own life here. Often we see people opt for a black and white perspective, "I can’t worry about these other issues, I have my own problems." Other times we have heard the guilt some people feel when they are concerned about the difficulties in their own life, saying, "I know my problems are nothing compared to those in Darfur."

Orange County for Darfur continues its efforts to raise awareness of what is happening in Sudan, Congo, Burma, and about issues relevant to preventing future genocides. Our challenge in part is to remain caring about one another, including the day-to-day struggles we live with here, while returning to the place inside ourselves that can open just a little bit more in caring about those far away. Ultimately, we need a worldview that is large enough that we can all fit into it.

We hope you will join us at our next meeting this Tuesday, February 16th at 6:30p. We will meet at Patty’s office in Newport Beach. Here is the address.

Patty’s office @ 6:30p
2424 SE Bristol Street, Suite 300

Newport Beach, CA 92660

We will discuss:

  • Update on what’s going on in Darfur, Congo and Burma.
  • Huntington Beach Reads events in February
  • Worse Than War, The Greatest Silence and Burma VJ screening
  • Orange County Walk Against Genocide in April.

If you’d like to get involved and help with the planning of any of these activities, I hope you will join us :)

See you on Tuesday.

Barbara & Anshul
Orange County for Darfur
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | photos | shop | blog | facebook

OC For Darfur strategy meeting is this Tuesday, Oct 27

Hi everyone,

This past week has been quite eventful. On Monday, the Obama administration released their official foreign policy towards ending the genocide in Sudan. This is a step in the right direction, and hopefully it’ll make a significant difference in this critical situation.

Then this past Saturday, a few of us attended the screening of The Greatest Silence, a powerful documentary that sheds light on systemic and horrifying rape and violence against women in Congo. It was a big call to action for all of us and we will be exploring how to organize something locally here in Orange County.

Our next planning meeting is this Tuesday, Oct 27th at 6:30p. We will meet at Patty’s office in Newport Beach. Here is the address.

Patty’s office @ 6:30p
2424 SE Bristol Street, Suite 300
Newport Beach, CA 92660

We will discuss:

  • Update on what’s going on in Darfur right now.
  • What else does the anti-genocide movement need?
  • What will it take to end / prevent genocide?
  • Our tentative plan for 2010.

If you’d like to get involved and help with the planning of any of these activities, we would love to have you come and attend :)

See you on Tuesday.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur
ocfordarfur.org | calendar | photos | shop | blog | facebook | twitter

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